samba license change

Hans de Goede j.w.r.degoede at
Thu Oct 11 06:04:49 UTC 2007

Chris Adams wrote:
> I'm really curious about this (not just trying to still the flames): if
> a GPLv2-only program is linked against a GPLv2 (or 2+) library and the
> library switches to GPLv3 (or 3+), who is violating the license?  Use
> (e.g. an end-user actually loading the KDE binary that dynamically links
> against is not covered by the GPLv2, so the end-user
> is not violating it (because they aren't distributing).  A distributor
> could be building against a GPLv2 version of the library but only
> distributing the GPLv3 version; is that a violation (why)?

If you build against a GPLv2(+) lib and distribute only a GPLv3(+) lib, then 
you (the distributer) are violating the GPL, it doesn't matter against what you 
build (as long as it works), for the license what you distribute is what 
counts, as the license is about *distributing*. And the GPLv2 says in section 
3, you may only distribute a work under the GPLv2 if you:
"a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
  source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
  1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,"

And the source code is:
"For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all 
modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the 
scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable."

Where "modules" means all parts needed to make it run, so including libraries, 
and notice "which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 
above", which say that the covered work must be distributed under the same 
License (GPLv2).

So you must distribute it together with a GPLv2 licensed samba, so no loop 
holes here (luckily!).



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